'I am done here'
Blue Marlins' founder quits after vandals wreck pool
Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:After four years of setting out a swimming programme specifically geared to spur the development of Olympic calibre swimmers in the western region; and after pooling all her life savings into that realisation, founder of the Blue Marlin Swim Club, Rosemarie Logan, is calling it quits.
Her decision comes after vandals destroyed the $2 million, 25-metre competition-ready vinyl pool located at the Swim Place, Montego River Gardens, on Monday.
"I am done here," Logan told The Gleaner. "All my four years of investment, personal sacrifice and time is gone. These people have, in effect, ended the dreams of our children with this most cruel act."
The pool, which was vandalised on Monday, held 56,000 gallons of water with a capacity for 40 swimmers.
"This is the only competition-ready pool in the region. In fact, outside of the Olympic-size swimming pool at Independence Park (National Stadium), this is the only such one and I am so hurt by the fact that people saw it fit to destroy it," said Logan, who nurtured young talents Joshua Davis and MoBay High School's top swimmer, Hanna Johnson, in the very same pool.
The Swim Place, which is home to the Blue Marlin Swim Club and training facility of upcoming stars Johnson, Joshua Davis, Rin Gyles and Brianna Lemonte, among others, recently staged a successful swim challenge meet, which was used to gauge the readiness of their swimmers for upcoming competition in Kingston.
Logan fears the pool's destruction will now have an adverse effect on the young swimmers.
"Our swimmers were building their future in swimming here. It was in this pool that many were taught the basics and how to compete and just after having a great swim challenge we are faced with this?
"Whoever did this, I hope they are proud of themselves, knowing they have put an end to the dreams and aspirations of these children. But I am done. I will be packing up before heading off to put my investment in Cuba where my husband is from," Logan insists, adding that it would cost her too much to reinvest in the programme without assistance.
"Neither the Government, the local authorities or the people in this country are serious about the country's development or the children's success," she said.
The facility had cost Logan $500,000 per year in upkeep and operation.